• Supplements Part 3: Dyes.

    12 November 2015
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    As you have read so far, the supplements we are consuming are full of fillers and sugars.  There are other hidden dangers within these capsules, tablets, liquids, and even powders: DYES.

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    According to the FDA, in 2007 Americans were consuming five times more artificial food colorings than they were in 1955. That number in no way has decreased in the mast eight years. http://www.organicauthority.com/blog/organic/banned-in-europe-food-coloring-linked-to-behavior-problems/

    Artificial colors are being added to our vitamins, supplements, and medicines (as well as our foods, skin products, bath products, etc.) at an alarming rate.  Somehow the rate is increasing even though studies are linking these dyes to everything from cancer to hyperactivity in children. The risks can be deadly, and the benefits: a more appealing product to draw consumers in, to make a sale.

    The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of these dyes, even as they are band in other countries across the world due to their significant side effects.  Countries throughout Europe have banned against food dyes and insisted on strong labeling with warnings including all health risks to these dyes.  But yet, here in the United States we not only promote the use of dyes, but they are included as ingredients within our health-boosting supplementation and medications.

    The seven FDA approved food dyes include: http://www.fda.gov/ForIndustry/ColorAdditives/

    • FD&C Blue No. 1 – Brilliant Blue FCF, E133
    • FD&C Blue No. 2 – Indigotine E132
    • FD&C Green No. 3 – Fast Green FCF, E143
    • FD&C Red No. 40 – Allura Red AC, E129
    • FD&C Red No. 3 – Erythrosine, E127
    • FD&C Yellow No. 5 – Tartrazine, E102
    • FD&C Yellow No. 6 – Sunset Yellow FCF, E110

    Some of these artificial colors (Yellow Dye 5 & 6) are derived from toxic coal tar.  Coal tar is a mixture of many chemicals, derived from petroleum. It is recognized as a human carcinogen, with the main concern of using it for individual colors (whether produced from the coal tar or synthetically) is the potential to cause cancer. These colors may also be contaminated with low levels of heavy metals and even be combined with aluminum substrate. Aluminum compounds and many heavy metals are toxic to the brain. Coal tar is used for purposes such as: roofing, outdoor sealants, exterior paints, and heating. This should obviously NOT be ingested. http://www.davidsuzuki.org/issues/health/science/toxics/chemicals-in-your-cosmetics—coal-tar-dyes/

    Current research is working towards providing the direct link from synthetic supplements and artificial dyes to autism, sleep disturbances and other chronic problems in children. Previous studies show links to artificial dyes and cancer, hyperactivity, ADHD, allergies, and sterility.  http://melisann.hubpages.com/hub/Know-Which-of-Your-Vitamins-and-Medicines-Contain-Toxins

    This research is eye opening, even for myself. I have a four year old son with sensory processing disorder, food allergies, food sensitivities, speech delays, and sleep troubles.  We were told by wonderful natural-minded pediatric doctors and chiropractors to keep toxins away from him.  This meant vaccines, chemicals, processed foods, etc.  We learned of a wonderful diet that removed all dyes, fillers, and chemicals from the body to heal the gut.  We have had great success on this diet, but hadn’t looked into the hidden details of his supplements (or ours!).  While we have been making smart supplement decisions, there were a few with hidden dyes that have since been eliminated.  I know that it sounds extreme to most people, but I am telling you from our personal four year journey that what you put into your body makes a world of difference.

    Common ailments linked to these dyes include headaches, mood response, hyperactivity, skin rash, and swollen gut, trouble falling asleep, or breathing problems. An actual allergy to dyes may be difficult to diagnose. However, if removing dyes from the diet is linked to absence of symptoms, this may prove dye sensitivity. Allergy testing for dyes is not conclusive, but an IgG antibody test can be part of your investigation. (We had IgG testing done as early as 15 months of age with our son.)

    Each dye can be traced to its own set of possible side effects: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm

    Blue Dye No. 1 can cause hyperactivity, skin rashes, bronchoconstriction – especially when combined with other artificial colors- and chromosomal damage. It may also cause issues with the gastrointestinal tract while inhibiting cell respiration and lead to ADHD, asthma, and other allergic reactions. (This dye is banned in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Norway Switzerland, and Sweden.) New studies show that Blue Dye is also absorbed through the skin. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23127598

    Blue Dye No. 2 is a synthetic coal tar dye commonly added to pharmaceutical drugs and is also used as a medical diagnostic aid.  The dye, which is banned in Norway, has been known to cause nausea, vomiting, high blood pressure, skin rashes, breathing problems, brain tumors and other allergic reactions.

    Green Dye No. 3 is linked to tumors and gene mutations in test animals.

    Red Dye No. 40 is a petroleum byproduct often used in medications and supplements that can cause allergy-like reactions, hyperactivity in children and potential cancer. Asthmatics and those intolerant to aspirin are at increased risk of a reaction to this dye, which is prohibited throughout Europe. http://www.npr.org/2011/03/30/134962888/fda-probes-link-between-food-dyes-kids-behavior

    Red Dye No. 3 has been shown to cause cancer in lab animals.

    Yellow Dye No. 5 is one of the most dangerous artificial colors.  Derived from Coal Tar, the dye is linked to cancer and provokes asthma attacks, skin reactions, and hyperactivity in children. It has been banned in Norway, Austria, and Finland.

    Yellow Dye No. 6 is linked to hyperactivity, allergic reactions, nausea, and nasal congestion. It is often used in medications and supplements Yellow Dye #6 is banned in Finland, Norway, and the UK.

    Unfortunately, these reactions and their connections to artificial food dyes have largely been dismissed by the FDA.  In 2004, an analysis of fifteen studies found evidence that artificial colors worsen the behavior of children with ADHD.  Even after studies found that artificial dyes affect the behavior of children without behavioral disorders, the FDA continues to deny any significant link between food dyes and behavioral problems.

    By eliminating food dyes and food additives, studies have continuously shown increased improvements in children’s behavior.

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    The FDA has approved a number of natural dyes for use in products.  These dyes include:

    • Beet Juice
    • Beta-Carotene
    • Grape Skin Extract
    • Paprika Oleoresin
    • Fruit and Vegetable Juices
    • Saffron

    Some natural dyes can still cause adverse reactions to those with sensitivities.  My son, for example, reacts to annatto extract.  Annatto, caramel, and cochineal extract (known as carmine) have all been traced to allergic reactions.

    A partial list of popular vitamins with toxic dyes: http://www.vaclib.org/docs/ToxicDyesVitamins.doc

    • One A Day – Red #40
    • One A day for Women – Mixed Berry’s  – Blue #1 Yellow #5, Yellow #6 and Red #40
    • One A Day Scooby Doo – Blue #2, Yellow #6 and Red #40
    • Flintstones (Children’s Vitamin) – Blue #1, Blue #2, Yellow #6, Red #40 and Aspartame Toxic Sweetener
    • Centrum & Centrum Silver – Yellow #6 and Red #40
    • Geritol – Blue #2, Yellow #6 and Red #40
    • Prenatal from Nature’s Bounty – Blue #1, Yellow #6 and Red #40
    • Tums – Blue #1, Yellow #5, Yellow #6 and Red #40
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  • How Halloween Candy Affects Kids

    12 October 2015
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    How Halloween Candy Affects Kids

    It’s time to purchase ALL.THE.CANDY. I mean, it’s for the trick-or-treaters, right?  Of course it is.

    Whether your children dress in costumes and fill buckets with candy or you choose not to celebrate the holiday, inevitably, the candy somehow still ends up in your home.  Before you allow your children “a few harmless pieces,” take the time to learn the consequences of your actions.  I am not totally ruining candy for you.  There are plenty of great premade, purchasable candies out there, and a plethora of healthier homemade recipes to meet every candy craving.

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    From Kit Kats and Reeses to Candy Corn and Candy Bars, I took the top purchased candies and broke down their ingredient lists.  This is what I found.  The most common ingredients are:

    High Fructose Corn Syrup:  Also labeled as corn syrup, maize syrup, glucose syrup, fructose syrup, tapioca syrup, dahlia syrup, fruit syrup, and crystalline fructose. Corn syrup is derived from genetically modified corn.  It “is heavily processed, using enzymes to turn cornstarch into glucose and then fructose.”   Even though glucose and fructose occur in nature, HFCS does not occur in nature. Cornstarch is converted to glucose, some of which is then converted to fructose. If a substance’s molecular structure has been changed in a factory, it can’t be considered natural.

    A few documented reasons to stay away from HFCS include its links to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, high cholesterol and increased risk of heart attack and heart disease. Additionally, regular consumption of corn syrup may lead to anemia, weakened immune system, fatigue, mood swing and suppressed metabolism. Particularly sensitive individuals may also experience light-headedness or headaches and bowel issues.  (A safe, healthy option: look for honey as an ingredient. It is also known that consuming raw milk combates the side effects of HFCS. http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/corn-syrup-side-effects.htmlhttp://www.thebetterhealthstore.com/Newsletter/100110_High-Fructose_04.html

    Natural or Artificial Flavors: “natural flavor” is the fourth most common ingredient listed on labels – not just in your candy. This is a BIG umbrella folks.  Companies can label absolutely any ingredient, whether it is synthetic, chemical, etc as a “flavor” as long as it is generally regarded as safe by the FDA. The most common ingredients labeled as “Flavors” are as follows, and you may see some of these listed on their own on a label, but if you don’t, do not be surprised if they are in the product.  http://www.livescience.com/   http://www.foodadditivesworld.com/

    • MSG: Monosodium-glutamate is a brain neurotoxin. It is a slow poison.  Known as  flavor-enhancer 621, MSG is now labeled as a “Natural flavor.”  Children are more vulnerable to MSG dangers than adults. In fact, MSG and other flavor enhancers are not permitted in foods produced specifically for infants and young children who are 12 months old or less. MSG can cause or exacerbate brain lesions, neuroendocrine disorders, learning disabilities, adverse reactions, neurodegenerative disease and more. The short of it: MSG kills brain cells. http://www.truthinlabeling.org/
    • Aluminum Silicate
      Insoluble and used as a refractory in glassmaking. It is used as coagulation in food.
    • Amino Acid Compounds
    • Amyl Acetate
      A pear and banana oil. Many artificial flavors are made using amyl acetate. It may cause nervous system depression, indigestion, chest pain, headaches, fatigue, and irritate the mucus membranes.
    • Amyl Alcohol
      Closely related to Amyl Acetate and also known to be toxic.
    • Annatto bixine (yellow orange): My sensitive child reacts to this!  It is also called roucou, and is a natural plant extract used to dye an assortment of foods, textiles, and body care products. Primarily, it is used as red / orange in a wide assortment of foods. The food additive number for it is E160b, allowing consumers to identify it on a label even when it is not listed by name.  Some children react to this just as they do other food colorings.
    • Benzoates (including sodium benzoate)
      Can trigger allergies such as skin rashes and asthma, and are believed to be linked brain damage.
    • Benzaldehyde
      Almond flavor, and when derived from nature, traces of hydrogen cyanide – a deadly poison – can be found in it. When made by mixing oil of clove and amyl acetate, no cyanide is produced. Nonetheless, both natural and artificial benzaldehyde can cause central nervous system depression and convulsions.
    • Benzyl Acetate
      Also related to Amyl Acetate and may cause gastrointestinal, bronchial, skin, and eye irritation.
    • Borneol
      Artificial flavoring that may cause gastrointestinal irritation, seizures, confusion, and dizziness.
    • Bromates
      Destroy the nutrients in the foods. It can give rise to nausea and diarrhea.
    • Butryic Acid
      Caused cancer in lab test with animals.
    • Butyl Acetate
      Related to Butryic Acid can be toxic in high quantities.
    • Butylates
      Responsible for high blood cholesterol levels as well as impaired liver and kidney function. Ex) Butylated Hydrozyttoluene (BHT), Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
    • Caffeine
      Colorant and flavorant that has diuretic, stimulant properties. It can cause nervousness, heart palpitations and occasionally heart defects.
    • Canthaxanthin: Other names – Canthaxanthine, Carophyll Red, CI Food Orange 8, Colour Index No. 40850, E161, Roxanthin Red 10.
    • Caramel
      Very common flavoring and coloring agent that can cause vitamin B6 deficiencies. It can cause certain genetic defects and even cancer.
    • Carvacrol
      Artificial flavoring that can lead to respiratory and circulatory depression as well as cardiac failure.
    • Cinnamyl Formate
      Also simply known as formic acid, (artificial cinnamon – it may simply say “cinnamon flavor” in the label) has caused cancer in mice and may affect our kidneys.
    • Erythrosine (red)
      See Red Dye below.
    • Red Dye 40
      Red dye is known to cause attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Also suspected to cause certain birth defects and possibly cancer.
    • Mono and di-glycerides
      Can cause birth defects, genetic changes and cancer.
    • Potassium Bromate: banned from China, European Union, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere because it causes cancer in rats and mice.
    • Potassium Sorbate: A synthetic preservative linked to allergies, nausea, eye irriation, and diarrhea
    • Saccharin
      Causes toxic reactions and allergic response, affecting skin, gastrointestinal tract and heart. It may also cause tumors and bladder cancer.
    • Sodium Benzoate
      Also known as E211. Sodium benzonate is a common preservative. The FDA classifies it as safe. However, sodium benzoate forms a chemical known as benzene when in the presence of vitamin C.Also heat converts sodium benzoate to benzene. Fruit jellies, jams, and fruit juices which are made with high vitamin C fruits with heat applied in the manufacturing process can be particularly dangerous due to the conversion to benzene from sodium benzoate. Benzene damage DNA and seems to play a role in a variety of diseases due to DNA damaging capabilities. It’s also a known carcinogen.Some studies have shown that sodium benzoate in processed food along with artificial food colorings can cause children with ADHD to be more hyperactive.
    • Sodium Chloride
      Can lead to high blood pressure, kidney failure, stroke and heart attack.
    • Sodium Nitrite 
      Can be carcinogenic and have other adverse effects on health.
    • Salt (common table salt is refined salt)
      Refined salt has depleted mineral and higher concentration of sodium then unrefined sundried sea salt.
    • Sugar (common white sugar is refined sugar)
      Most commonly used additive.
    • Tartrazine (Azoic yellow): on ingredient labels as FD&C yellow 5, E102 or C.I. 19140.  It is an artificial coloring that is used to make foods and other products more visually appealing or appetizing. It is also used in the printing, textile and paper-manufacturing industries as pH indicators or biological stains.  Tartrazine is tied to anxiety, migraines, asthma attacks, blurred vision, eczema, other skin rashes, thyroid cancer, Eosinophilia (increase in specific forms of white blood cells), clinical depression, ADHD or hyperactivity, hives, permanent DNA damage, heart palpitations, rhinitis, sleep disturbances/insomnia, general all-over weakness, hot flushes and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). In severe cases, anaphylactic-like reactions.  When fed to chickens it makes their egg yolks yellower – because, in our society, that is so important. (Sarcasm.)  Tartrazine interferes with the metabolism of Vitamin B6 in the body.
      (A great substitute: Tumeric!)
    • Vanillan
      Artificial vanilla, can cause allergic reactions. It can limit the liver enzyme dopamine sulphotransferase by 50%. Its sources are the waste product of paper mills and petroleum.

    Artificial Colors: (See above for specifics)

    Emulsifiers: linked to irritable bowel syndrome, disruption of the gut, and obesity.

    Nitrites (and nitrates): Synthetic and highly toxic. In fact, these ingredients have been highly linked with a number of deadly cancers.

    Trans Fat: Trans fat is also synonymous with the common ingredient “hydrogenated oil.”

    Hydrogenated palm kernel oil: Besides being linked to deforestation through the plantations creating this oil, palm oil was found to impair the digestive systems of mice during studies. http://humanfoodproject.com/

    Soy Lechithin: Derived from genetically modified soy, lechithin is linked to increase risk of breast cancer, infertility, and impeded brain development in children.

    Preservatives: There is no shortage to the amount or types of chemicals put in our food today, and one of the top things added to our food are preservatives. These chemical ingredients, such as TBHQ and/or BHT and BHA are man-made chemicals that do preserve food for longer, but at a great expense to our health. Preservatives have been linked with a number of problems such as allergies and sensitivities, digestion problems, mental problems such as ADHD and depression, as well as cancer.

    TBHQ: The most common food preservative.  Tertiary Butylhydroquinone is a petroleum-derived form of butane.  It is commonly found in lighter fluid (Oh and Butterfingers… and other of your Halloween goodies.)  5 grams of TBHQ is lethal and the FDA ruled that quantities larger than 0.02% could not be used. (RUN AWAY FROM THIS!)

     Alternative Sweeteners: For those who are diabetic or otherwise trying to cut down on their sugar intake, food manufacturers have created “sugar free” options that have no sugar.  Instead of using sugar, they have replaced it with a non-nutritive, synthetic sweetener. These sugar replacements, such as aspartame, splenda, sucralose, and/or Ace-K act similarly to flavor enhancers in the body, in that they stimulate cells and cause cellular death. These artificial sweeteners wreak havoc in the body and can actually still lead to weight gain and cravings.

    Shellac:  The shiny coating on your candy labeled “confectioner’s glaze.”

    Castoreum: An extract from beaver perineal glands and beaver urine typically considered a “natural flavoring.”  You’ll find this in anything berry or vanilla flavored.

    Gelatin: a thickening agent made from the protein collagen, which is extracted from animal skin and bones.  You will find this in your gummies.

     We need to shift our focus from specific harmful ingredients to the food itself: where is this food coming from, how is it being processed, and most importantly, is it even food?

     The good news:  There are companies providing high-quality candy.  My personal favorite place to shop:

    www.thenaturalcandystore.com

    (I am not affiliated with the above site, I just have a child with gut issues, speech delay, sensory processing disorder, food allergies, and food sensitivities.)

    Just for a chuckle: This is how we feel on Halloween

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